Arby’s Offends Iowans’ Meat-Slicing Prowess, Is Forced To Pull New Spot

By Bob Marshall 

As you may recall, Arby’s and CP+B debuted two new spots earlier this week as part of the fast-food brand’s new “Slicing Up Freshness” campaign. The first, “Journey,” features an apparent New York detective decrying the fact that Subway’s meat is sliced far away from where it’s consumed. Where is Subway’s meat sliced, you ask? Iowa, which judging from a hawk’s piercing shriek might as well be the desert. Well, guess who’s pissed off about this?

If you guessed the people of Mount Pleasant, IA, who take an awful lot of pride in their meat slicing factory and tradition of greatness, you’d be absolutely correct. In a lengthy blog post on the Des Moines Register‘s website, a collection of angry comments on the YouTube video of the spot are pulled. “Iowa isn’t a Third World country!” says one. “Slamming Iowa wasn’t cool since most Iowans are farmers that help your company out. Same goes for Midwest in general,” says another. The uproar was so tumultuous, in fact, that Arby’s has since pulled the spot (though we have a copy handy above) and released this statement:


We offer our sincere apologies if we offended any of the good people of Iowa as a result of our new advertising campaign, ‘Slicing up the Truth about Freshness.’

Please know that in no way was the advertising designed to disparage the state of Iowa, but rather it’s meant to dramatize the distance between a competitor’s slicing facilities and any of its restaurants. Our advertising is being revised to remove the reference and will replace current advertising as soon as possible, which should be no more than a few days.

In other words, don’t mess with Iowa, or they will complain you into submission.